Every year American Running Company holds a Mock Triathlon for athletes to get out there, shake out the nerves, and get back into it.
I did this event last year and really enjoyed it. I decided to do it again with Patrick and invited Meghan to join us. She’s training for her first triathlon and I thought it would be the perfect way for her to get comfortable with transition and putting the three events together.
I offered to do the whole course with her and give her some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way. I’m definitely not an expert, and I’m certainly guilty of a few bad habits, but I felt pretty confident I could “show her the ropes” of what I’ve learned over the last 4 years in this sport.
Patrick and I met Meghan at the Dunedin Causeway at 7:15am. It was cold. Well, for April in Florida anyway. The outside temperature was 55 and the water temperature was around 65. There was also a pretty good amount of wind.
There was a pre-“race” talk scheduled for 7:45. We waited in the car as long as we could before braving the elements and getting ready for the “race”.
I set up my transition and then helped Meghan with hers.
I gave her the few tips I have for saving time. I put my glasses in my helmet, on top of my cycling shoes. That way I remember to put everything on. Had we had a race belt with number I would have put that inside my helmet too. Behind my cycling shoes I put my running shoes and my headband so I don’t have to mess with my hair. If the course had been any longer, I would have put a Gu in my running shoe so I also remember to take that after the bike.
After that we listed to the course talk and I pulled on my wet suit.
Last year, I was unable to use my wet suit the whole Augusta training cycle. I ended up driving out to Lithia Springs to get some practice in. I was glad to be able to use it again.
This course was set up with either ¼ or half mile swim. We all decided to do the half mile. We made the walk down the causeway and got in the water.
That was absolutely the coldest water I’ve ever been in. My toes went instantly numb. Once I got started swimming it really wasn’t so bad. I didn’t have to stop and breast stroke and siting felt a lot easier/more natural for me than it ever has before. I was really happy with the swim overall. It was definitely a good feeling going into the season.
Swim Split – 16:47
After we got out of the water we ran back to transition. I got out of my wet suit a lot easier than I would have thought and got ready pretty quick. I was still cold but the sun had come out and it had definitely warmed up. I thought about putting my jacket on for the ride but ultimately decided against it.
It was nice to be able to talk to Meghan through transition. There was no clock to worry about so we just made sure we had everything ready for the bike.
The bike course was 10 miles in two loops. There were two small bridges that we went over a total of four times each. The road was open to traffic but it’s not too bad out there.
As I expected, I need to work on my cycling… a lot. It didn’t feel awful, but I felt a lot less comfortable then I remember being.
The wind was still pretty bad and I was a bit wobbly. I had a hard time getting down in aero between the wind and the cars riding next to me. I ended up spending most of my time on my handlebars.
Overall, it was a good reminder of why I need to get back on the bike.
Bike Split – 38:00 (15.6mph)
This is always a much easier transition. I re-racked my bike, dropped my helmet, and pulled on my shoes and headband.
The run was 3 miles down the sidewalk along the causeway. The temperature was much better by this time. It’s been a while since I’ve done any brick work but I felt pretty good getting off the bike and onto the run.
Even though I was feeling good, I decided to hold back quite a bit. I’m still recovering from my back injury a few weeks ago and I didn’t want to push it. I debated whether or not to do the whole run but once I got warmed up I had no pain and decided if I took it at an easy pace I would be fine.
Meghan had decided against the run as she’s also recovering from an injury. I ended up meeting a woman around mile 1 and chatted with her for the next two miles.
Run Split- 31:45
I felt great after, no back pain and I wasn’t completely exhausted. It was definitely reassuring that I haven’t lost all of my triathlon skills during the last few months of only running. This event was a great way for me to kick start my triathlon training and remember those little things I need to work on.
A great big, HUGE thank you to American Running Company for hosting this free event. We all had a really good time. I look forward to doing it again next year!